[PHOTO -BABY Nate with sisters Leila and Sarah INSTAGRAM PHOTO]

MANILA, OCTOBER 8, 2012 (INQUIRER) By Marinel R. Cruz - Singer-actress Regine Velasquez said her family’s recent weeklong trip to Singapore was meant to introduce her son Nate to his half-sisters Leila and Sarah.

“They were very happy to see Nate,” Regine told show-biz writers during the recent launch of her new show, “Sarap Diva,” at the GMA 7 studios in Quezon City. “Nasira ang ulo nilang tatlo (the three of them went crazy).”

She added: “They really had time to bond. Each morning, the girls took care of Nate so I could sleep.”

Leila and Sarah are daughters of her husband, singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid, with his ex-wife, Australian beauty queen Michelle van Eimeren. The trip was also the girls’ first time in Lion City.

Regine continued: “What’s funny about Nate was that nagpapakitang gilas din siya(he showed off). He would laugh aloud for his sisters. He would roll and tumble, which only made his sisters crazier about him.”

Godmother Michelle

[PHOTO -The newlyweds in Australia in 2010 during the wedding of Ogie’s ex-wife Michelle Van Eimereen and Mark Murrow, with the ex-couple’s daughters Leila and Sarah]

Regine likewise said that Michelle, also one of Nate’s godparents, bought a lot of baby clothes and toys for the child.

“I think Nate is in love with Michelle,” Regine said. “He was scared of her in the beginning, but after a while, we would always catch him staring at Michelle’s face. I guess it’s because it’s his first time to see blonde hair.”

In an earlier interview, Ogie said he was determined to make his children develop a close relationship, in spite of the distance between their homes. Leila and Sarah stay in Australia with Michelle and her new husband, Mark Morrow.

“To see my children grow up and love each other is priceless. I’m actually excited to see them together,” Ogie said.

Regine, who had long wanted to have a baby, said she enjoyed sharing pictures of baby Nate, especially on Instagram. Somebody had told her, she added, that it was good to share one’s experiences with other people “because they learn things.”

“True enough, I get a lot of thank you’s especially from mommies who follow my account,” Regine noted. “In turn, some of them give me pieces of advice too. Whenever I have time, I make sure to answer some of their questions.”

For her show, “Sarap Diva,” which premiered last Saturday, Regine displays her cooking skills alongside those of other mothers, who likewise share with her tips on how to be an efficient wife to Ogie and mom to Nate.

Mommy talk

“Unlike Chef Boy Logro’s show (“Kusina Master”), which is instructional, this program isn’t just about cooking,” Regine said.

She said that aside from giving cooking tips, she and her guests would likewise be talking about “mommy things.”

[PHOTO -REGINE and Ogie (behind her) with Michelle (left), the kids and Baby Nate’s nanny INSTAGRAM PHOTO]

She cited an example: “In some of the episodes, my guests will help me plan Nate’s birthday party. While I’m an expert in performing onstage, I’m clueless when it comes to these things.” Nate will turn 1 on November 8.

Regine said she once planned on enrolling in a culinary school, but it didn’t push through because of her hectic schedule. Instead, she watched different cooking channels.

“I was amazed to learn that a lot of people loved to cook, including (broadcast journalist) Jessica Soho, who will be one of my guests on the show,” she said. “Jessica regards cooking as a way to de-stress. That’s also how I feel. I don’t think of it as a chore.”


“I like cooking when I’m stressed,” Regine said. “All the negative feelings disappear when I’m in the kitchen. I’m able to focus on what I’m doing.”

She doesn’t have to cook for the family every day because they have a cook. So, she cooks depending on her mood.

“I don’t have a favorite dish to prepare,” she said. “What I do is open the refrigerator to see what leftovers we have and make something out of them. Sometimes, I make soup—which, I realized only recently, is very hard to do. It takes so much time and effort just to complete the taste.”

Regine said she cooks pasta most of the time because, like pizza, it can be combined with food.

Healthy dishes

For Ogie, Regine cooks mostly healthy dishes. She explained, “Since his cholesterol level went up, he only eats grilled fish and chicken breast. Sometimes just soup, but with less oil.”

Now that Nate can eat solid food, Regine often gives him boiled and mashed vegetables, as well as chicken and fish because “he needs a lot of protein to grow.”

The singer-actress said she seldom hears Ogie complain about her cooking. “He would tell me what I should put in a dish to improve its taste, but this doesn’t happen often. Most of the time, he’d say, ‘Ayos! Sarap!’ (Alright! Yummy)! When he likes something, he would make me cook it again for special gatherings at home. That’s why I have to remember, madalas kasi inimbento ko lang (I improvise most of the time).”

[PHOTO -REGINE Velasquez in “Sarap Diva”]

“Sarap Diva,” directed by Treb Monteras III, also features Nate and Regine’s pet dog George in “virtual animation.”

Her brother-in-law Raul Mitra is musical director.

Regine is also seen on the Sunday variety program “Party Pilipinas” and the magazine talk show “Hot TV,” both on GMA 7.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved